It was rainy most of the day on my third circuit of this route. I forgot which gloves do best in the rain so I brought the wrong ones, which are nearly impossible to take off and put on again once wet. I can't believe Fern Hill wasn't flooded out. The unfairness of the rain is that it's sunny and dry two days later while I'm trapped inside at work.
The sour weather made it all worth it on Stag Hollow. Oh man, I could hit the replay button on that one over and over. That little bit of road was is so enormously cool I could barely contain myself. I was laughing loudly and the wind was shitting on us so heartily no one could hear me. A while later, on the way back, it was clear and felt like a different place on a different day. The orderly lines of yellow vineyards make me buzz. I felt like a genius for remembering where the jog is and keeping really quiet so that mean dog wouldn't hear us.
The huge colony of geese we saw had us talking about birds for a long time. I learned how to identify a kestrel and a flicker. 9969 (formerly "the Kid") is a fountain of knowledge. These geese, gal dang there were so many, were originally heading north, then the front wave turned back and they formed a giant tornado going around in the sky.
My new Sidis worked out fantastically. I guess my good shoe karma is #7600's bad shoe karma because he rode a perm the same day and forgot his bike shoes. My feet never hurt, not for a second, not a numb toe, not a hot spot, nada. Knees golden. Shoulders golden. Back is a piece of crap but I told it to shut up with ice.
Dairy is my best friend. I subsisted on lattes and ice cream, except at Nick's Italian Cafe, for which the ride is named, we all enjoyed minestrone and pane and coffee. They treated us like royalty. When the waiter saw us leaning our bikes outside, he started setting the front table. Automatically brought us separate bills and extra receipts. We were in and out in a half hour.
9669 stopped with me while I photographed a bus stop for my calendar project. A few miles later, we were turning right, when he said calmly "Maria there's a dog next to you" and sure enough there was a mean-looking german shephard who was all foamy at the mouth. We turned right and it went straight. I was really thankful for the warning because that prevented my signature EGADS (early generalized anxiety disorder syndrome) gasp and holler, which most certainly would've triggered the dog into eating me in one bite.
Later on we saw another dog, a bouncy puppy who looked part whippet and part spaniel. He bounded out to give chase but rider 6229 pointed at it and swerved toward it and oh boy did that cute little mongrel hop away home. Good trick to remember.
Spring Hill Road and my favorite hill are still there, in case anyone's wondering. So is Trespass territory. They never did do whatever they were going to do - make it a reserve and build a parking lot or some such. I kept thinking about how I got poison oak and 7600 didn't. I thought of him again when we passed that little area on the east where we ducked into tractor shade one summer day to cool off.
We saw five cyclists all day, including a lady at dusk with a bunch of groceries strapped all over her bike. 6229 said he was amazed we didn't run into anyone I know. Then we went to Lucky Lab and Edwin was there. I ordered an iced tea and almost passed out from the effort of not ordering a deliciously rewarding and hopalicious IPA as I had earned and deserved. Next perm, the beer fast will be broken!